the PAPUA POST

Follow the Adventure: The Brazeau's Serving In Papua

Pipe Walk

A short drive away from the school, just outside of the next town, is a water pipe that travels up the mountain side to where a reservoir is feed from the rains atop the mountain and supplies the town. I was asked to join the hostel as they went up the mountain one day, using the pipe as a trail. It was about 14 inches wide and slippery but we managed to make it up to a set of falls part way up the mountain. It was beautiful. At points we were over twenty feet above the ground and your balance had to be sure. At certain point we had to hop off as little Papua women were coming down laden with heavy bags of fruit. The bag's strap is placed across their forehead and the bag hangs at their back. They were as strong, fast, and sure footed as goats as they made their way down the slippery pipe.

After a fun time at the waterfall it began to rain and we needed to make our way back down in a hurry. Flash floods are a regular occurrence in Papua and the lightening was not reassuring. The pipe was covered in rivets of water and we were nearly blind for the rain was lashing down in our eyes. At one point we had to cross a river and it was rising by the second, the strong current tugging at each step, threatening to sweep us away. We had a number of casualties as we headed down. Kids who went barefoot slipped and fell on the rocks, resulting in a few cuts, a black eye and many tears. My friend used a banana leaf to shield her young son as she carried him down the mountain. We could hear the native calls of the Papuans calling to one another in the jungle and I felt truly in awe of the beauty of God's creation. We eventually made it down  in mostly one piece and the fun was not ruined by the difficulty of the descent.

A year later our friend took some kids back up the pipe and they were led at machete point and robbed. The men tried to take the young girls that were there but the men stood firm and help arrived in time to chase the men off. As far as I know no one else has gone back to that spot since.